Progress, Storms and more Fish

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Wed 20 Nov 2013 09:47

38:22.80S 030:53.29E

0858z 20/11

Perfect day's sailing yesterday after turning off the engine at 3am and pulling out the genoa and main for 9-10kn progress close hauled in quite flat seas and mostly sunny. The wind was ENE at 15kn giving us about 25kn on deck. Just after dark the wind increased to 25kn as predicted, but then kept going and we had 30-35kn for much of the night with apparent speeds sitting on around 40kn (which I couldn't help drawing the comparison to the wind speeds the AC crews experience on deck ALL THE TIME). Regardless how much we shortened sail (ending with 3-reef main and 1 reef staysail) we couldn't slow below 10kn. Fortunately seas still quite flat so we carried the speed through the night and clocked 229 nm for the 24hrs from 3am-3am since turning off the engine. Still close hauled today with the same storm rig flying and still doing mostly over 10 kn with peaks around 12.5 although the seas somewhat choppier now from the storm winds of the last day or so, so the ride is a bit bumpier and we mostly choose an angle on the waves to remove any pounding while still heading in the rightish direction. We're about 50nm S of our GC route but hopefully this'll get us into the 40's W winds sooner. All looking forward to winds from behind and the boat lying a bit flatter. Last night there were sleeping bodies draped over anything and everything and remaining mostly where they fell - stretched across the coffee table and sofa, on cabin and saloon floors, standing-up on the boat's lean angle against the deck mattresses, curled on a cockpit seat being regularly flushed by driving spray.

Even so, still managing to eat well with Kay and Robbo destroying the Galley as they turned Ryan's monster Mahi Mahi into tasty - even though there was apparently a missing unknown ingredient - Thai fish cakes. Ryan started the day with a medium size Spanish Mackerel which was swiftly guillotined into steaks enough for 2 meals, and followed shortly after with about the largest Mahi Mahi I've ever seen caught.

The rough conditions didn't stop the youthful foredeck crew from having a challenging workout with uphill pushups and situps almost bringing tears to the rest of our spectating eyes as we struggled to lift the beer cans to our lips in time with the rolls and pitches.

A few appearances from HAL with no hydraulics currently and more water in the fuel. So far on top of the fuel issue after many more engine room hours scrubbing (actually a desirable spot as we get closer to Antarctica) and some lazarette and bilge time ahead tracing hydraulic cabling to surely yet another well hidden and undocumented circuit breaker for the hydraulic power.

As I look at the nav screen to still see 10+ kn, now close reaching in 25kn True wind from the NNE with the same 3 reefed main and reefed staysail I'm confident that we'll crack a 240nm for a 10kn average over 24 hours, if not today, then certainly once we get the 30kn from behind!